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My final days in the Web team @ Sussex



Hi all,

Well, this is it, I officially finish at the Web Team this Thursday and what a ride it has been! I have been working primarily on the SPLASH project since last September and I have learnt a great deal about the interaction between students/staff and e-learning. Some things I thought I know and some areas I was totally taken aback about.

Being here at the University of Sussex has given me a great sense of belonging and the sense of being "part of a team", and it definately made me feel like a student again - how I miss those days ;-)

It was my first real job in Higher Education, although I had worked on some small freelance projects in various places. I have to say, once you get a job at a place like this, it is highly addictive and it makes you want to do everything in your power to stay here for the long-term - such a nice change from working in the private sector, where within a design agency I would be pushed so hard, working until 9 or 10pm at night was a norm.

I'm going to miss working with the Web Team: Dominic: (Mr X as I like to call him)/Jack/Andy/Penny and Tony - all lovely people, who get stuck into work, without a single hesitance or moan! Well, actually, we all moaned most of the time! ;-) 

So, what happens after Thursday? Well, I am fortunate enough to be going over to InQbate, The Centre of Excellent in Teaching and Learning in Creativity. Some of you may know it, others may not - so go on over and take a peek. It's all about collaboration, self-direction and experiential learning within a technology rich environment. Wow, a lot to take on board.

I will be around there doing numerous things with web, video and technology support - and anything else I need to get my hands stuck into! So, if your around, come on over and say hello from Friday.

I will probably end up blogging on SPLASH more, now that I am leaving the Web Team, although I should probably do more on my own blog - plenty to talk about.

So, you can find me on Twitter // FaceBook // Dopplr// mysite

OR, just keep on using my university email address OR checking my SPLASH profile! I love this site, then again, I am biased I guess ;-)

Thursday 30th April at 1pm - lunch and drinks at East Slope - obviously for the people I know - not some random geezer! ahahaha

All that remains for me to say is bye bye Sussex House, bye bye office space by the grass and I am going to miss those interesting things I always end up hearing coming from over by the Press Team! ;-) xx

Keep smiley faced and remember: Always remain positive, no matter the issue ;-)

What is the point universities?



What Should the University be for? Come and tell us at the Brighton Salon
Thursday, April 29, 2010  7:15pm - 9:00pm
Bellerbys College
Billinton Way, Brighton, 
The British University system continues to enjoy a world class reputation and has been the model for higher education systems around the globe. Over the last couple of decades Universities have enjoyed a massive expansion in student numbers and opened up much wider section of the population. Yet over the same period its ethos, organisational model and raison d’être has come under ever greater pressure.

Asked to recruit and educate more students for less money, to make research and teaching more “relevant” to students interests and to submit research and education to an ever narrower set of economically and ideologically motivated top-down goals; it is time to ask whether the university as presently constituted can meet the demands put on it.

In the midst of the economic crisis these problems are set only to get worse and the questions that are posed need to be taken head on.

Should the link between teaching and research be uncoupled? Should universities be re-targeted on producing the skills Britain seems to need to build its way out of the recession? Or will such a narrowly pragmatic programme itself serve to undermine the fabric of British Society?

Can the University continue to pursue the noble pursuit of research for research's sake and "the great conversation" of liberating and enlightening minds? Or is this an “unsustainable” and outmoded aim?

Prof. Denis Hayes will briefly introduce the discussion and the crisis facing Higher Education in Britain today.

Donald Clark will then put forward a case for Universities being bloated and no longer ‘fit for purpose’ in terms of their management, research/teaching dilemma, confused theory/vocational mix, pedagogic amateurism, low occupancy rates and agricultural calendar.

Dr. Blay Whitby will argue that conventional academic values predate and will outlast the ‘managerial capitalism' which currently dominates thinking about the future of British Universities.

The focus as ever will be on the full scrutiny of these ideas by *the Salon*. The meeting will be chaired by the Salon’s Dr. Rob Clowes.

Dennis Hayes is Professor of Education at the University of Derby and a visiting professor in the Westminster Institute of Education at Oxford Brookes University. He has been a columnist for FE Focus in the Times Educational Supplement and writes regularly for the national press on educational issues and is a member of the Editorial Board of theTimes Higher Education magazine. In 2006-2007 he was the first (joint) President of the University and College Union (UCU) the largest post-compulsory education union in the world. He is also the founder of Academics For Academic Freedom (

Donald Clark has worked on a number of modernisation programmes in Higher and Further Education for the World Bank, IVIMEDS (global group 34 Medical Schools) and worked with BECTA, HEFCE and a number of Universities here in the UK. He was a founder and CEO of Epic Group plc and is a Director of the University for Industry (2,600,000 learners), Caspian Learning, LearningPool and the Brighton Dome and Festival.

Dr. Blay Whitby is Lecturer in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sussex and a Philosopher and Ethicist.

Fancy saving education??? The family that campaigns together...



Letter writing campaign by parents, school pupils, university staff and wider public.

With the House of Commons vote to enable the raising of student tuition fees due on Thursday 9th December, we urgently ask all members of the Campaign and others reading this website to contact your local student activists to ask them to contact their parents, school students and their parents and friends, to text or to email their MP. Parents etc are also urged to contact Liberal Democrat Headquarters and local party officers. This can be done through websites that enable you to enter a postcode to create a web-based message delivery service. We suggest a template below for letters that can be cut-and-pasted. Feel free to amend them as you see fit

Write to your constituency MP

LibDem MPs are able to abstain under the Coalition agreement, but abstention will simply allow the measure to be passed and so is, in effect, tacit support. If your MP is a LibDem MP, please point this out when you write. Labour MPs, of course, will be expected to vote against, but some Conservative MPs are also very unhappy with the proposals and so it is important that all MPs are contacted.

This link provides a simple process by which you can find out who your MP is and send him or her an email via the site.

Dear (MP’s name),

I am writing to you to express my very serious concerns about the government plans for universities and the proposed changes to the funding arrangements of higher education. I strongly support the public funding of universities. The concern to cut public spending and reduce the deficit offers no justification for a reduction in teaching support by 76% (which is well in excess of that demanded of other areas of spending). Students will be asked to pay two to three times as much as at present in fees, but there will be no additional money for Universities to spend on teaching and, for many Universities there will be a cut. The overall rationale of spending cuts is to prevent the burden of the present deficit from falling upon future generations. These proposals do precisely the opposite and make future students and their parents – your constituents – pay for the present debt and shoulder the cost of the public benefit of universities.

As a parent/member of the public and one of your constituents, I am dismayed not just about the content of these proposals but the fact that they have not been subject to proper discussion and democratic process, given no mandate for them was provided at the recent general election.

I urge you to support your constituents and to vote against these proposals.

Yours sincerely,

Send a message to the Liberal Democrats!

You can do this by cutting and pasting a message (suggested template below) and your details into a form at:

You can also enter a postcode to identify your local party and send them a message via your postcode entered on the main page (column at right-hand side, ‘Get Involved’):

You can also contact Vince Cable at:

Suggested template:

I am writing to express my outrage that Liberal Democratic MPs seem willing to tear up their pledge not to raise tuition fees. In stark contrast to the claim that budgetary cuts are necessary in order to protect future generations from the consequences of government debt, this shifts the burden of funding higher education onto the next generation. At the same time, it makes that generation pay the price of the UK now having the lowest public spending on higher education among comparable OECD countries. I am appalled at this action by Liberal Democrat MPs and their coalition partners. Liberal Democratic consciences will not be saved by abstention. Only a vote against the proposals will do.